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please help re access to children and the way ex h is behaving

(5 Posts)
rottenscoundrel Tue 19-Mar-13 10:49:20

I split up with my ex h last year - we are separated not divorced. He has funny working patterns which mean he doesn't work 1.5 days in the week and half a day on the weekend so I have let him have the children on those days. Both of us work full time.

At the moment, youngest child is in yr 6 - rest of kids in secondary school. I leave for work around 30 mins before they leave for school. Secondary kids go first and yr 6 child has about 15 mins on his own before he leaves. Dh insists on coming round every morning to make sure he has left to go to school. From Sept this will stop when he starts at the same school as the others.

So basically dh is seeing them every day in the morning and in fact, there is only one day he doesn't see them at all.

My issue is the way he is behaving. First of all, he never spent 5 mins with them before we split up so part of me is delighted he is finally making an effort with them but it is very very strange for me that he is being like this. But secondly, on the days I have them, 4 of the days I am at work and only come back by 7. We have a full time nanny. Some of those days he can finish work early and is coming back on the odd occasion and taking them out WITHOUT telling me. Also there are one or two evenings when I go out and he also takes them but refuses to tell me what he is doing with them. The kids always tell me when I get back but it unnerves me that he is basically taking them somewhere (out and about) without my knowledge.

Eldest child has said to me they only want to go to him every second weekend not every weekend but they do not want to tell him this as they don't want to hurt his feelings (as he is finally making an effort but also it's weird for them too lol!). I don't feel I should intervene here and tell him this....I think the elder children need to tell him this themselves if they feel that way as he is going to think I am putting them up to it.

I think I am within my rights to say he has to tell me if he takes them when I'm not there (on one of my days) - incidentally, I never take them on one of his - or should I just let it carry on being flexible....I am not sure if people have flexible arrangements like this as part of me is delighted he is trying to have a relationship with them and maybe I should just let it run....

zizilee Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:10


Am seperated too and try to be flexible but have now set days every weds eve (when he is not away) and every other weekend (when he is not away) initially he tried to suit himself and pop in whenever but this upset the routine for all 3 of my kids the youngest at the time was 5 .

He should never take them out without your knowledge when it is "your" days and not tell you where they are as you are legally responsible for them when it is your time plus as you have a full time nanny he does not need to pop in every morning.

Try to discuss this with him first but if not a lawyers letter stating access times can be sent to him detailing the acceptable times etc and the need to tell you if he pops in and out.

My ex was similar which is a bit odd as he too never spent time with them when we were together. I had to go down the lawyer route it worked and still works now though still get daily texts from him which I hope will peter out in time

rottenscoundrel Tue 19-Mar-13 14:43:45

thanks zizilee. Yes it sounds very similar - I am also getting texts from him quite a lot.

I will try and discuss it with him first as I don't want to end up being a legal issue but he seems to have an absolute blind spot with all of this

He has spent ages telling me that the kids are now his number 1 priority which is all very noble but ALL of us are finding this very odd given he barely spent an iota of his time while we were together doing anything with them at all! It's just such a massive adjustment - I mean I am pleased for the kids - but even they are finding his attention a bit overbearing given it's gone from zero to them being everything.

Sad that it took breaking up to get to this point but hey ho....

Dadthelion Tue 19-Mar-13 14:58:02

We've always followed the rule if one parent can't look after the children in 'their' time because of work, social etc. the other parent is first choice to look after them.

As for his change in behaviour he's had a huge jolt, and people can look at their life and change it.

'so I have let him have the children on those days.'
That does sound like your struggling a bit with sharing the parenting.

rottenscoundrel Tue 19-Mar-13 15:21:21

I'm struggling because for 13 years he never did anything with it is a massive shock to the system to me that he is finally doing anything at all.

I'm not struggling to let them go - I'm struggling with the concept that he is (finally) parenting them which is, of course, absolutely brilliant for the kids and will eventually be brilliant for me but in the short term, it is a shock

he has so much to learn - e.g. on the first day he had them, he gave one of them a massive allergic reaction as he didn't realise she had allergies (they are old enough to tell them themselves but they assumed he knew). Tbh, I assumed he must have known given we have millions of hospital appointments and food is specially bought etc. but as he has never cooked, nor bought food, nor gone to one of these appointments and clearly never listened to me talking about it, he just didn't know

it's a massive massive adjustment for us all but I am (honestly) delighted for the kids and I don't think it's too late for them to build a relationship with him either

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